Rental Rumblings

Austin declared one of the hottest rental markets in the nation right now

Austin declared one of the hottest rental markets in the nation

South Shore District Austin apartment rent patio downtown skyline Riverside
Rentals are in high demand. South Shore District/Facebook

Austin is in high demand, and that's not going to change anytime soon. A new report from online real estate investment firm HomeUnion has named Austin one of the most desirable rental markets in the U.S. for 2017, making it a sound choice for local and remote real estate investors.

In fact, Austin is No. 9 on the report's ranking of highest demand markets, which means it boasts some of the strongest supply and demand fundamentals in the nation.

"An influx of millennial job-seekers drawn to the low cost of living compared to coastal markets, combined with growth in internet and technology sector jobs, make Austin one of the most desirable metros for renters," says Steve Hovland, director of research at HomeUnion, in a release.

And, a bonus for investors (but not good news for those striving to own a home), a limited number of Austin renters will graduate to homeownership. "Austin has a large population of educated millennials, so it’s unlikely that homeownership levels are going to go up significantly in this market, considering the all-time high levels of student loan debt," says Hovland.

Those investing in the Capital City are targeting properties desired by young families in the technology and internet space, notes the report. Approximately 36,000 new positions are expected to be added in Austin in 2017, says HomeUnion, with the professional and business services sector, led by high-tech and internet-based companies, fueling the growth.

While the report focuses on factors that influence the balance of risk versus reward for investors, we can also glean insights for local renters. Here's what Austin renters can expect this year:

  • Single-family rental vacancy in Austin is expected to drop to 3.9 percent.
  • Rents are expected to grow to $1,735 per month, up 2 percent from 2016.
  • Austin’s year-over-year employment growth is projected at 3.6 percent, much higher than the national growth of 1.7 percent.